At the end of the train line you’ll find a beachside haven with a multitude of attractions and activities.
There’s a sense of space in Sandringham. With its wide stretch of sand, village atmosphere and proximity to the city (the train takes just 27 minutes to arrive), it’s no wonder this is a popular destination for day-trippers looking to relax.
On a sunny day, tables on the footpath at rustic Black Squirrel Cafe are in high demand. Classic breakfast dishes sit on a menu alongside healthy choices, including the now ubiquitous poke bowl, burgers and sandwiches. Another popular option is Full Turn Kitchen Bar, where owner Pino Ballerini is often on the floor greeting diners. The coffee is excellent, and the all-day, everyday breakfast menu includes a firm favourite; the panzanella, a warm salad of tomato, basil, ricotta and garlic sourdough topped with poached eggs.
When you’ve fuelled up for the day, it’s time to explore the neighbourhood. Browse the racks at Chokolat Boutique for funky women’s fashions, from casual looks to ones that will serve you well on date night. Update your living room cushions or find a new lamp for the bedroom at No Place Like Home, a sophisticated gift and homewares store. You might need to start a list for Santa at Trombie Toys. You’ll discover plenty of wood and educational pieces and games, as well as little items the kids can purchase with their pocket money.
Looking for some excitement in your life? A shot of adrenaline to the veins? Sandy Beach HQ can sort you out with kitesurfing lessons. Skimming above the water is an exhilarating feeling, but if you’re keen to try something a little tamer, stand-up paddleboard lessons are also available. When you’re done, grab a drink at the kiosk and check out the historical district photographs on display.
Another place for water-based action is the Sandringham Yacht Club. As Melbourne’s premier sailing club, it plays host to a number of regattas, but there’s also the chance to learn to sail whatever your age. Get on the water in a dinghy or keelboat and you might find you become hooked on the feeling of freedom it gives. Drop into the club’s Harbour View Restaurant for stunning vistas and excellent modern Australian fare.
Test your swing back on land at Sandringham Golf Course. The gently undulating sand belt course with 18 holes has long been considered one of the most interesting and challenging public golf courses in Melbourne. There’s a pro shop on site, a practice green and a picnic area.
After a full day, there’s one place you’ll want to grab a seat — on the deck overlooking the bay at the Sandringham Hotel. Known to the locals as the Sandy, it’s the ultimate in chilled-out spots for an icy beer. On Friday nights, the barbecue is fired up, but there’s also the option of heading into the bistro for lunch or dinner. Tucked away from the beach is Sandringham’s cosy pub, The Hobsons Stores. Formerly a soft goods store, it’s been converted into a watering hole with great food that ranges from traditional pub dishes to what it calls “posh grub”, like smoked pork ribs or linguine marinara.